These changes lined up will give the police powers to issue fixed penalty notices for careless driving, offering more flexibility in dealing with examples of less serious careless driving offences, and preventing expensive court processes.
This more flexible approach will now cover issues such as tailgating and middle lane hogging, both common pet peeves with many drivers around the UK.
The new fixed penalty measures will also enable the police to offer educational training as an alternative to endorsement. Drivers will still be able to appeal any decision in court.
On top of this, existing fixed penalty levels for most motoring offences, including for being caught using a mobile phone while behind the wheel or not wearing a seatbelt, will rise to £100. This has been done to bring these penalties closer in line with similar non-motoring fixed fines.
As well as being hit with a fixed £100 fine, motoring offenders will also receive three penalty points on their licence and more serious offences will continue to go through court, where offenders may face even higher penalties.
The Road Safety Minister Hammond commented: “Careless drivers are a menace and their negligence puts innocent people’s lives at risk. That is why we are making it easier for the police to tackle problem drivers by allowing them to immediately issue a fixed penalty notice rather than needing to take every offender to court.”
“We are also increasing penalties for a range of driving offences to a level which reflects their seriousness and which will ensure that they are consistent with other similar penalty offences.”
The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) lead on roads policing, Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, emphasised the importance of these changes to the fixed penalty notices. She commented: “The new penalties are absolutely necessary to deal with drivers who are putting people’s lives at risk and police will not hesitate to enforce them”.
She added: “”These measures should also act as a reminder to careless drivers that their behaviour will not be tolerated”.
“The vast majority of drivers are law abiding, but some are still not getting the message. We said we would get tougher on those who make our roads dangerous and that is exactly what we have done.”
For more advice on safe and legal driving this summer, read our Summer driving and maintenance guide.